Friday, October 22, 2010

The Other Shoe

Dawn and Matt had their divorce pretrial hearing yesterday.  If they hadn't reached agreement on all items of the settlement, their case would have gone to trial.

But they had agreed.  And both attorneys finally had documents that, while not mirror images, didn't prevent closure.  The final decree was issued today. 

Six months, start to finish.

While both Dawn and Matt had moved on toward lives with the kids but without each other, now they can officially, legally, go forward as individuals, not half of a couple.

The other shoe has finally dropped.  Now Dawn can head out in a new shoe that doesn't pinch and whose stride promotes happy feet with each step forward.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Reminder That Kids Will be Kids

Brandon is ten and already knows it all.  You don't have to ask him, he'll tell you.  Every time you question his actions.

For the sake of convenience, I've bought each of the kids a bike to keep here.  Last year Sophia moved up from a garage sale purchase 16-inch to a larger bike.  That meant we had an unused bike which Brandon wanted to trim down to a dirt bike for himself.  Fenders were removed, the frame was painted black and the girly seat replaced with one that was black. 

Then winter came.  By spring, he'd grown too large for the bike, so I bought him a new one equipped with pegs so he could do tricks.  After a few weeks he wanted to customize it.  He'd been successful in his efforts with Sophia's old bike, so I told him that while I didn't see the necessity to tear down a new bicycle, if he felt competent to modify it, okay.

He swears it wasn't his fault.  Somehow some bearings got stripped and he couldn't reassemble it.  So it laid, in pieces, on my garage floor all summer.  He wasn't allowed to borrow a bike from the neighbor.  If others rode bikes, he scooted along on a skateboard. 

Now fall is here and the kids are back in school.  I sent e-mail to the kids' dad and asked if he'd consider rebuilding the bike with Brandon over the winter.  When I didn't get a reply, I realized that the bike and its parts would continue laying on the garage floor.  So I gathered them up, put them in the car, and drove to a local bike shop.

I approached one of the techs.  "I have a ten year old grandson who says he knows how to take a bike apart and put it together."

As I spoke the words, a cyclist, in his riding gear, walked by and snickered.  Obviously he knew where I was going with this.  So did the tech, who asked, "Where is it?"

We walked out to the car, he went through the bag of pieces, identifying what he held and noting what he needed, and said he could put it back together, he'd like to reassemble it, that he loved puzzles.  

So a few days later I returned to find a rebuilt bike, sans one hand grip, all put back together.  As good as a new bike, maybe better.  Back to my garage it went to sit beside Sophia's bike.

It was raining when the school bus was due to drop off the kids at the bus stop on Wednesday, so I picked them up.  When I pulled into the garage, Sophia said, "Brandon, look at your bike!" 

Brandon said, "Huh?  What?  Where!?!"

"Look!  Right there!"

Brandon, sitting in the passenger's seat beside me, spun toward me and said, "Really??!  You fixed it?!"

"No, I took it to the bike shop," I replied.  "But now you have to promise you won't take it apart again."

"I promise!!"

Let's see how long it is before he's either bored or looking for another challenge. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

We Turn Another Page

Dawn and Matt have sold their house!  In this economy, with so many homes for sale, it could have been on the market for a year or more.  However, it was just into its second listing when they accepted an offer.  Dawn went into high gear boxing up belongings and moving what she could prior to closing.

The official move was right after Labor Day.  Brandon and Sophia headed off to school, unaware of the plans for the day.  Two men and a truck (also the name of the franchise) arrived and loaded furniture.  Six hours later it was in place at Courtland and the beds were made.  Time for the big unveil.  Brandon had football practice, and afterward, instead of driving to the former house, Dawn took them to Courtland.  They were accustomed to stopping by frequently, but this would be their first night sleeping there.  Both were excited to see their bedroom furniture in place but also felt some sadness at leaving the old house behind.  However, I think both were relieved that as one door was closing, another was already open, and both were comfortable with their new surroundings.  Dawn and I celebrated the end of the day with a couple glasses of wine.  I left about 9:00 so she could begin getting the kids off the ceiling and into bed. 

A week or so later, Dawn told me about a blue jay that seemed to be unafraid of people.  It had flown into the garage and had been seen outdoors perching on her vehicle's rear view mirror.  It had even sat on the railing of the patio while Dawn was there in a chair.  One day when I visited, we sat on the deck together, and luckily "Jay" (or Jaye if it's a female) appeared.

Dawn sent an email to the previous owner about the friendly bird, and Amy replied that it had appeared last year during a garage sale, flying in and out of the garage, even sitting on one person's finger.  However, she is afraid of birds, so had never interacted with Jay when he returned.


Jay comes by nearly every day when someone is outdoors.  One day last weekend, he landed on Dawn's arm. 

Dawn's friend Rachelle was visiting, and he sat on her hand. 

 Brandon and Jay have interacted as well.  Brandon had a dollar bill that Jay took from between his fingers and then flew with it into a tree!  Brandon was beside himself at the loss of the money, but when Jay couldn't eat it, or lost interest, he let the bill drop.  Brandon scurried to retrieve it, held the bill again, and Jay came to get it.  Again Jay eventually let it go and then flew away.  Dawn has a video on her phone and I'll provide a link if she ever uploads it!

Yesterday Dawn sent me a picture of her latest purchase.  A bird feeder is now  situated at the corner of the deck.  She said Jay's been by to check it out.